The Child Survival and Development programme aims at contributing to the reduction of maternal and child mortality and morbidity, especially in the most deprived areas of Egypt. UNICEF’s partnership with the Ministry of Health resulted in flagship programmes including the Expanded Programme on Immunization, the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, polio eradication, maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination, and the integrated management of neonatal and childhood illness. The current UNICEF programme aims to reduce the neonatal mortality and child malnutrition by improving the quality and accessibility of an integrated package of essential maternal, neonatal and child health services in disadvantaged areas and by promoting health, nutrition and hygiene awareness.
The Integrated Perinatal Health Care and Nutrition programme is co-supported by the Ministry of Health and UNICEF. It resolves to reduce the neonatal mortality by 20 per cent and child malnutrition by 30 per cent in the targeted disadvantaged areas. The programme is implemented in 269 family health units and relevant health districts in 4 governorates of Upper Egypt and 2 governorates of Lower Egypt, covering a population of around 3 million people. It addresses equity and specifically targets the most vulnerable women, newborns and under five children through a continuum-of-care approach. UNICEF also provides support to build the capacity of health care providers, strengthens the healthcare system, promotes communication for behavioural changes, and creates an enabling environment for maternal and infant health.
In 2014, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Cairo governorate, UNICEF launched the Integrated Child Survival Partnership initiative in the Cairo governorate. It reinforces the governmental development efforts in slum communities to improve the health status of mothers and under-5 children, through a replicable model of partnership that widens improved access to health, nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene services in slum communities. Two communities have been selected by the Cairo governorate as models: Ezbet Khirallah - around 261,000 inhabitants, and Ezbet Abu Hashish - with around 70,000 inhabitants.
Health Quality Improvement Programme is a World Bank-funded project, which assists primary health care facilities in meeting national health care quality standards in Egypt’s poorest 1,000 villages in the target governorates of Qena, Sohag, Assiut, Minia and Beni Suif. The Ministry of Health and Population has requested UNICEF to support the project by providing technical expertise for the independent verification process, which will assess the performance of primary health care units against a range of indicators.
Regarding interventions related to Syrian refugees, UNICEF has provided support for the Ministry of Health and Population to enhance the capability of its primary health care units to meet the increased demand since 2013. Basic equipment and training were provided for 102 primary healthcare units in areas with a high concentration of Syrian refugees. Furthermore, 235 Syrian women community health workers were also recruited and trained to raise the awareness of Syrian families on health and to encourage them to make use of public primary health care units.